Last week, I was lucky enough to go to the Cook islands and Aitutaki to work with the Ministry of education, principals and primary and secondary teachers. While I am convinced I am the only person who ever goes to the Cook islands to work, the experience was brilliant.
The ministry and the Minister of education have a vision of the Students and staff embracing ICT to improve learning. While limited by immediately available money they are making considerable in roads, deploying technology to each and every school no matter how remote or small. There is a vision that in the near future, every child will have a personal digital learning device. This is a laudable goal, and given the people I worked with an achievable one too.
|level of use||descriptor|
|Literacy||Learning about technology|
|Integrating/augmentative||Learning with technology|
|Transformative||Learning through technology|
|Based on the work of Bernajean Porter|
While some of the teachers are still at the literacy stage and others are working at the augmentative or integrating level, the biggest barrier to success is not ministry policy, vision, teachers or equipment. It is the appalling internet connectivity, slow speed and hideous cost from the statutory monopoly that controls Cook islands internet – Cook Islands Telecom.
To be transformative you need connectivity, to do the things you can’t do with out technology (a definition of transformative level of use) you usually need connection. To be collaborative and to effectively communicate you need to have the connections. We know from NZ’s key competencies and Australia’s general capacities and even the common core standards from the USA that the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate is vital to 21st Century education.
Its frustrating… more to follow